Inflation – the hidden cost of money in the bank

What is inflation?

Inflation is a sustained trend of increasing prices that reduces the real value of your money over time. As the inflation rate increases, the purchasing power of your money decreases, and you may not be able to buy as much with it as you used to. It also indicates how much of a return investors need to maintain their standard of living.

How does it impact your money?

Inflation erodes the purchasing power of your money.  For example, if you can buy groceries for €100 this year, and the yearly inflation rate is 10%. Theoretically, those same groceries will cost 10% more next year or €110. If your income doesn’t increase at least by the same inflation rate, your shopping basket will be a lot smaller.

How to beat inflation

Inflation erodes the real value of money on deposit when the inflation rate exceeds the deposit interest earned.  By leaving your money in cash, you could lose a considerable portion of its value over time (as seen in the table below).

On the other hand, investing can help generate higher inflation-beating returns over the long term, making it a better potential solution to meet long-term investment goals.

Why equities more suited to long-term investing

Long term performance of cash vs equities 20 years to 01 February 20244

Warning: Past performance is not a reliable guide to future performance.

Source: Aviva Investors and Aviva Life & Pensions Ireland DAC. Cash is 20-year annualised cash rate (1 month Euribor). Inflation is average eurozone inflation over last 20 years. Equities is the 20-year annual return of the MSCI World NR Eur.

Learn more

Now 96% of money on deposit in Ireland earns an interest rate of under 1%1 and the inflation rate is just over 3%2.  If you want to give your money the potential outperform inflation, talk to your financial broker about investments with inflation beating potential over the long-term, such as multi-asset or equity funds.

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1.       Source: Central Bank of Ireland December 2023.

2.      Source: Central Statistics Office (CSO) February 2024.

Qualifying terms and conditions apply to fixed deposits. The interest earned in a fixed-term deposit account is guaranteed. When you invest in a deposit account you may qualify for compensation under the Deposit Guarantee Scheme should the bank be unable to meet its obligations to you.

Warning: Past performance is not a reliable guide to future performance.

Warning: The value of your investment may go down as well as up.

Warning: If you invest in this product you may lose some or all of the money you invest.

Warning: The income you get from this investment may go down as well as up.

Warning: These funds may be affected by changes in currency exchange rates.

The funds referred to in this document may be linked to an insurance-based investment product and the Key Information Document (KID) for this product is available at The Risk Ratings of the funds referred to in this document differ from the corresponding Summary Risk Indicators shown in the KID. An explanation of the differences between the Risk Rating and the Summary Risk Indicator is available at the  location above.

Aviva Life & Pensions Ireland Designated Activity Company, a private company limited by shares. Registered in Ireland No. 165970. Registered office at Building 12, Cherrywood Business Park, Loughlinstown, Co. Dublin, D18 W2P5. Aviva Life & Pensions Ireland Designated Activity Company, trading as Aviva Life & Pensions Ireland and Friends First, is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Tel (01) 898 7950.